July 22, 2004
"But it would be too bad if Mr. Obama cakewalked into Washington. Not just for Mr. Obama, who would take office with an asterisk ("*ran against incompetents"). Illinois voters deserve to see a capable opponent force him to answer tough questions and defend his positions. In other words, they deserve a nonludicrous race."
Yes, it's too bad that Obama will probably get a free pass into the Senate, but there are worse scenarios for a politician. He'll get six years to prove himself in the senate and will no doubt face a strong opponent in 2010, so he'll eventually have to face a few hurdles before his political career gets too advanced. I understand the Times' lament, but I think in general this is a good thing for the Dem Party nationally. If Obama doesn't need help, that aid can be spread to more critical races.